Access to Justice Clinic
The Access to Justice Clinic was launched in February 2020 and aims to deliver social justice by helping people within the community to understand their rights and offer ways to access legal solutions, in acknowledging that everyone is entitled to protection of the law. The School’s Streetlaw programme and other pro bono initiatives all come under the ‘Access to Justice Clinic’ umbrella, which enables law students to benefit pedagogically from clinical legal education with practical application of the law in real life situations. Students gain an awareness and respond to access to justice issues, while at the same time enhancing important transferable skills, with direct experience of assisting clients under close supervision of practitioners.
Business Start-Up Clinic
The School of Law invites students, who are interested in starting up their own business and would like some guidance, to attend the new Business Start-Up Clinic, provided by lawyers from Stevens & Bolton in conjunction with law students.
Stevens & Bolton are a Guildford law firm with expertise on a wide range of legal matters, including:
- Setting up a business
- Shareholder arrangements and corporate structure
- Fundraising and finance
- Human resources and employment
- Commercial contracts and conditions of sale
- Intellectual property and IT
- Acquisition and disposal of business.
Lawyers will provide free legal guidance relating to starting up a new business.
Book an appointment
By appointment only. Zoom session links will be provided after registration.
To make a 20-minute appointment, please email email@example.com.
Digital Law Clinic
Undergraduate law students will run the Digital Law Clinic starting in October 2020. The clinic aims to work on digital related areas of enquiry, creating solutions using technology. The way legal services are delivered, and how technology enablers can be harnessed to promote and widen access to justice, will be an important area of focus within the Digital Law Clinic and the School’s new Law and Technology Hub.
- Moore Barlow LLP
- Citizens Advice
- Guildford Legal Advice Centre
- JLS Solicitors
- Lawyers Against Poverty
- Majorlaw Solicitors
- National Centre for Domestic Violence
- Stevens & Bolton LLP
- TWM Solicitors
- University of Law
Amicus Clinic runs the Missouri Project, a key empirical study analysing sentencing methods in homicide cases. The Clinic needs up to 20 volunteers to assist researching the use of capital punishment in the US. The focus of the investigation is to establish statistical data into which cases were charged capitally and which ultimately were given the death penalty. Studies of these sorts are what is used in litigation to abolish the death penalty in individual states.
The Clinic takes place weekly in the School of Law.
If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Elizabeth Williams on firstname.lastname@example.org
Islamophobia Response Unit (IRU) is a charity dedicated to supporting victims of Islamophobic hate crimes, hate incidents, and discrimination. Since opening in 2017, we have received over 1000 cases.
The IRU serves four main functions:
- Data collection and monitoring
- Provision of free legal guidance
- Provision of basic emotional support, and
- Referrals to partner agencies and signposting to other services.
Types of IRU cases
- Discrimination and victimisation in the workplace
- Lack of prayer room facilities
- Restrictions on Islamic clothing at work and in schools
- Physical assault
- Verbal abuse
- Criminal damage
The above is a non-exhaustive list.
How do victims report to the IRU
- Online reporting page
- Helpline: 020 3904 6555
- Email: email@example.com
Our admin support staff will make first contact with the victim and will usually complete a ‘Case File’ document, summarising the facts of the case. Once we establish what type of case it is and have determined our remit – we allocate the case to a caseworker who will be paired with a legal supervisor. Caseworkers are the victim’s main point of contact and complete initial research with the support of their legal supervisors who oversee any correspondence and advice that is sent out.
Note: the IRU only engages in unreserved legal activity. We cannot provide formal legal representation but can help determine any legal recourse each client may have. Sometimes we receive reports from clients who have already entered litigation proceedings which unfortunately, we do not have the remit to assist with.
We do however, try our best to provide guidance to our clients where possible. This can sometimes take the form of reviewing court applications, attending hearings for emotional support, explaining legal processes where possible or signposting to partner organisations such as Citizen Advice Bureau’s Witness Service, HackedOff (for media related issues), Muslim Youth Helpline (for counselling support) or our partner law firms for pro bono advice.
How is the IRU structured?
We have four full-time IRU staff, 23 volunteer legal supervisors (qualified lawyers from various practice areas across the UK), and 34 volunteer caseworkers (usually law or criminology students). For anyone interested in volunteering as a caseworker, we complete full background and DBS checks. Caseworkers must complete our online training programme and assessment before working on cases (see below).
We often receive victim reports on our online reporting page, via email or our helpline. Our admin support staff will make first contact with the victim and will usually complete a ‘Case File’ document, summarising the facts of the case. Once we establish what type of case it is and have determined our remit – we allocate the case to a caseworker who will be paired with a legal supervisor. Caseworkers are the victim’s main point of contact and complete initial research with the support of their legal supervisors who oversee any correspondence and advice that is sent out.
Note: IRU only engages in unreserved legal activity. We cannot provide formal legal representation but can help determine any legal recourse each client may have. Sometimes we receive reports from clients who have already entered litigation proceedings which, unfortunately, we do not have the remit to assist with. We do, however, try our best to provide guidance to our clients through these proceedings where possible. This can sometimes take the form of reviewing court applications, attending hearings for emotional support, explaining legal processes where possible or signposting to partner organisations such as Citizen Advice Bureau’s Witness Service, HackedOff (for media related issues), Muslim Youth Helpline (for counselling support) or our partner law firms for pro bono advice.
Role of an IRU caseworker
Our volunteer caseworkers are usually required to assist with the following (subject to the instructions of their legal supervisor or IRU staff):
- Discuss strategy with the client.
- Create a case file relating to the client’s issues, detailing a chronology of events and status of the case.
- Draft a letter of grievance or a letter of complaint on behalf of the client.
- Conduct telephone calls on the client’s behalf to an organisation, institution or individual.
- Complete police crime report if allocated a hate crime/incident matter.
- Write a letter for the client from the IRU.
- Attend meetings with the client at their request.
- Review policies (eg HR policy in an employment matter) and make recommendations on compliance with such policies, and determine any breaches (with the guidance of legal supervisor).
Process of onboarding an IRU caseworker
Anyone above the age of 21 can apply to become a volunteer caseworker by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org with a curriculum vitae and a personal statement of why they wish to join the IRU. We usually receive interest from law and criminology undergraduate students.
We will arrange telephone interviews with each applicant. If successful, applicants will be required to provide a DBS certificate and two references. Once obtained, applicants will be invited to complete the compulsory IRU caseworker training programme which comprises a series of lectures and a case study assessment. Upon successful completion, each caseworker will be paired with a legal supervisor and allocated their first IRU case.
IRU caseworker training
It is a compulsory requirement for all caseworkers to complete the IRU training programme. This is a comprehensive online course that equips all attendees with the requisite knowledge and practices to become successful caseworkers. Attendees are required to take part in a series of lectures, conducted by IRU staff and legal supervisors on different areas of work. Attendees will be expected to complete an internal case study assessment at the end of the programme.
The lecture topics include:
Course 1: Hate crime training:
- Overview of the definition of hate crime/legislation
- Overview of the police investigation process
- Understanding when and how to make a complaint about a police officer and challenging closed cases
- Overview of the court process and sentencing guidelines.
- Remit of a caseworker
Course 2: Discrimination and core skills training:
- Equality Act 2010
- Core legal skills and soft skills
- House Style
- Case study assessment
Once a candidate has completed the training programme, caseworkers are required to create a designated IRU email address. IRU staff will provide the newly onboarded caseworkers with the IRU Caseworker Handbook and Legislation Manual, which must be read and understood before case allocation.
How to apply
If you would like to apply to become an IRU volunteer or have any questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
Pro bono opportunities
The School of Law offers a range of pro bono services in partnership with several non-profit organisations and law firms. During the academic year, second and third-year law students can apply to volunteer to work with real clients and gain important transferable skills, such as: client interviewing, communication, advocacy, research and writing, negotiation, presentation, coordination, organisation, public speaking and team work skills.
Law students can deliver Legal Confidence Sessions aimed to educate and empower refugees by helping them to better understand the UK civil and criminal justice systems and their rights whilst living in the UK. In delivering this project, student volunteers work with solicitors from the local legal community and refugee support workers to run workshops on legal rights. The School of Law is running this initiative in collaboration with Lawyers Against Poverty, the Diocese, Barlow Robbins, Majorlaw, JLS Solicitors and TWM Solicitors.
If you are interested in attending a Legal Confidence Session, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In collaboration with Citizens Advice, students will carry out research on social policy and access to justice issues and will be trained to deal with real-life client enquiries by phone and email. Students will attend client interview skills programmes, case recording and a variety of enquiry workshops.
This clinic is run by lawyers from Guildford law firm, Stevens & Bolton LLP, in collaboration with the School of Law student volunteers and invites refugees who are interested in setting up their own business and would like some advice. Lawyers will provide free legal advice relating to starting up a new business in a wide range of legal matters, including: setting up a business, shareholder arrangements and corporate structure, fundraising and finance, human resources and employment, commercial contracts and conditions of sale, intellectual property and IT acquisition and disposal of business.
This clinic is by appointment only, for enquiries, please send an email to email@example.com.
A clinical legal education programme designed to identify relevant legal issues with school students and teach them about their legal rights and responsibilities. At the same time, it gives participating law students a valuable, real-life experience of putting their studies into practice. Law student volunteers are supported by their academics to work closely with secondary schools within the local Guildford community. The objective is to address legal concerns and increase students’ knowledge and understanding of the law and legal systems.
Law students research the relevant material and, using a variety of interactive learning and teaching methods, present their findings to the school students. They design and deliver workshops on a range of different topics, including: discrimination law, human rights, medical law and ethics, AI and ethics, employment law and the gig economy, intellectual property and evidence.
In Semester 2, 2021, we are embedding the Streetlaw programme within the Access to Justice third-year module.
Law students volunteer for training to learn about the background to domestic violence, the service offered to victims by the NCDV, the legal framework within which protective orders for victims are obtained, how to become a caseworker volunteer, interviewing clients and drafting court documents, and how to become a McKenzie friend.
Surrey School of Law students are trained to conduct fact-finding phone calls to help assess clients’ problems. Members of the public call the centre's advice lines and leave messages requesting legal help. During the triage sessions, students call clients back and take full telephone attendance notes of their legal problem before deciding, with the help of the supervising solicitor, whether the Legal Advice Centre can help or whether to signpost the client to another service.
Students receive training in housing law related enquiries, such as: possession, social care needs and housing disrepair, with a view to volunteering at the pop-up law clinic run by Lawstop Law Firm in London.
How to apply
If you are a second or third-year law student who is interested in applying for one of these pro bono initiatives, please send an email to the Director of Clinical Legal Education, Liz Williams: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Training and events
We don’t currently have any upcoming events. Check back soon for further announcements.